18 Mrz 2019

ENVI-met TreePass: Discovering the needs of urban vegetation

There is no doubt that urban vegetation is one of the main tools when it comes to improve the quality of life, the local microclimate or to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change in urban areas.

There are numerous studies on the effects of urban green, ranging from green roofs or facades to street trees, on microclimate. However, plants are living organisms and they can only play their anticipated role in our climate system if they are healthy and exist in an environment that fits their species. Especially for urban trees, the growing and living conditions are often hostile: too few rooting space, not enough light or extreme local conditions ranging from too dry to too wet can hinder a successful development of the plant. In addition, urban winds and turbulences are complex and can generate local wind maxima twice or more than the non-modified wind speed. This can cause several damages in the tree from throwing single branches to a complete de-rooting or collapse of the tree. In a dense environment like an urban quarter, these effects do not only harm the tree infrastructure, but also can cause damages and risks for the environment and the citizens.

A sustainable and successful urban landscape architecture does not only mean to find the best spots for urban trees, but also to find the best species and maintenance strategy for the trees to survive in their environment.

The new ENVI-met module TreePass will focus on these challenges. It will not only provide a comprehensive data sheet of all relevant growing conditions at the prospected tree locations, but also look at the trees biomechanics to prevent storm damage.

The TreePass will be able to analyse individual trees on the level of the typical crown geometry with the resolution of a single branch using the idea of L-Systems. The impact of the local growing conditions such as access to light will be considered in the analysis as well as different maintenance strategies. The risk of uprooting of breakage will be visible down to the individual branch for an unlimited number of trees inside a city quarter.

The ENVI-met TreePass will consist of a number of analysis modules from which the first will be available with the Winter 19/20 Release.